A baby boomer gets hooked on knitting

We ask baby boomers to tell us how they’re spending their time these days with children gone and jobs behind them. And we liked what we saw from Sharyn Diamond of Plano, Texas. She’s hooked. And helping people at the same time.

Who knew I’d be (pardon the pun) “hooked” on looming at my age!

Yes, everyone who hears the word conjures up an image of a Granny knitting in her rocking chair. But this is somewhat different! Although I’m a boomer (and a Granny!), I never had a desire to knit or loom until … hmmm, about seven years ago when I became friends with Ellen Miller, a woman who looms hats for chemo patients in the Dallas area.

Her group is now called “Passing Hats.” I so admired what she was doing, I asked her to visit my sisterhood group in my congregation. I told myself it would be a great “mitzvah” project (“mitzvah” is Hebrew for “good deed”). In fact I told everyone who attended. Well, seven years have come and gone and we have made an average of 300 hats a year, or a total of roughly 2,100 hats, all donated to more than fifty local cancer treatment centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

It’s easy, exciting, creative, and calming. Yes, calming!

Sharyn (standing) with her looming group.

One needs a hobby these days to soothe the nerves. This one does just that and more. What cancer patient wouldn’t want a soft, comfy hat that tells them, someone out there cares and loves you? The organization itself is hoping to donate 20,000 hats from many Passing Hat groups around Texas and the southwest by the end of this year. With the colors and textures of yarn sold these days, there are literally hundreds of variations you can make-– striped, solid, multi-colored, floppy, with pom-poms or without. Virtually any style you want. And the cutest I’ve come across are the children’s hats with matching hats for their dolls.

It’s not fun and certainly not a happy occasion being a patient, but I’ve seen people’s faces light up when they find out that these hats were made just for them. So, turn on the radio or television, and let the looming begin for friends, family, maybe someone you don’t even know. It’s a “mitzvah” for any age, but especially boomers like me with some spare time on our hands when we’re not on “Grandma duty!” Happy looming!

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